Sunday, January 31, 2010

Best Tiramisu EVER (and it’s vegan)!

Tiramisu has always been one of my favourite desserts, but it’s laden with cholesterol and fat from its dairy ingredients. I’ve created a vegan tiramisu that will leave your guests BEGGING for more (and they won’t have a clue it’s vegan).

The secret replacement to the mascarpone cheese and whipped cream and eggs is... Coconut Whipped Cream. Basically you have two portions of whipped coconut (one vanilla, one coffee-rum), your lady fingers (vegan if you can find them; otherwise a vegan recipe follows), and some cocoa to finish.

Coconut Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar to taste
1/4 cup soy or rice milk powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp strong coffee
1 tsp dark rum (optional)

To acquire the cup of full fat coconut milk, buy two tins of high quality, full fat (not lite) coconut milk. Put it in the fridge or freezer for a half hour. Open the tin and scrape out the thick coconut cream at the top of the tin. If the results from the two tins are greater than 1 cup that's fine. Once you've extracted the cream beat it in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy (approx. 2 minutes).

Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and milk powder. If your coconut cream is already VERY thick (mine was) you can ignore the milk powder altogether and just used the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract (or replace it with almond or coconut extract) and blend.

Now divide the whipped coconut into two bowls. Add the coffee and rum to one bowl’s whipped coconut and blend. Store the two whipped toppings in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. If you’re able to find vegan lady finger cookies then use them. I wasn’t able to find any that didn’t include eggs so here is a recipe to make your own:

Ladyfinger Cookies
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
1/2 cup soy, rice, coconut, or almond milk

Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. Cream the margarine and sugar in a bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until fluffy. Stir in the maple syrup. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined, alternating with additions of milk. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (don’t try to fit all the lady fingers onto 1 baking sheet like I did as these cookies really expand).

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 1 inch balls; then roll each ball into a 2 inch long stick. Arrange on the the baking sheets, leaving a few inches of room between each ladyfinger. Bake 8-12 minutes, or until cookies are firm and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for a couple of minutes (run a knife between any cookies that have become “joined”). When firm enough to move, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Assembling the Tiramisu
I used a small spring form pan and lined its bottom and sides with parchment paper to prevent sticking, but you can use a square glass or non-stick pan.

Arrange a layer of lady fingers on the bottom. Top with 1/2 the whipped coconut/coffee mixture followed by 1/2 the vanilla whipped coconut. Repeat this layering. Holding a fine mesh strainer or sieve over the tiramisu, sprinkle cocoa on top, shaking the strainer to distribute the cocoa (and strain out any cocoa lumps).

Voilà! Chill for at least an hour before serving. I like to put it in the freezer for 1/2 hr just before serving.


  1. I cannot wait to try this substitute for marscapone cheese. I am a new vegan and I am looking for something with the same taste as marscapone.

  2. Do the biscuits need to be soaked in coffee or something, before they are put in the pan. Thank you for answering.

  3. I didn't soak the biscuits at all.

  4. This is a fab recipe - the easiest and best tasting to our family- used left overs from a home made sponge cake-my daugher has milk and egg allergy and this is as close to the real thing as I've tasted! thank you.